That is a group of powerful ladies right there…and also a lot of food…ha!
But there was something so empowering about the fact that we were all so on the same page. So many of the same concerns, some solutions, some new ideas, but mostly just power in numbers.
It just so happened that a guy named Collin Kartchner was coming to town to do a seminar all about social media right after we met up.
He’s this guy who is trying to bring to light all the crazy stuff social media is leaving in it’s wake (suicide, depression, ADHD, addictions, etc.). Several blog readers made me aware of him on one of the posts where I’ve talked about social media thoughts before. It was a little counter-intuitive for me to follow him since I was in the process of severely limiting Instagram, because lots of his stories have so much to say…see all those little dashes at the top of the screen below?
Yeah, that’s a LOT of stuff. But I’ve skimmed over them in the last couple months and there has been a LOT of stuff in there that I was baffled by.
(That one really is so good… HERE is a link to read it…things we can’t do when we are buried in a screen.)
And other interesting things like this:
2) The keynote speaker was a lady named Katey McPherson, and I thought she was phenomenally in-tune with what’s going on.
I showed this one before, but it was pretty poignant to me and worth posting again:
I loved this thought:
(None of that happens when you’re glued to a screen.)
This smartsocial.com has lots of useful information about all the main apps kids use:
This chart shows the apps in order of how much “junk” can be associated with them…red being the apps that you should ban like there’s no tomorrow:
She gave some recommendations for helping limit screen time:
Some of my other favorite things I took notes on from her:
- Help cultivate dignity in kids. This happens when we have frank discussions and let them into our concerns…and do things like formulating a “technology contract” together. (the one we came up with for our family years ago is HERE…but we should really constantly revise that thing).
- Role-play with kids. Helps them learn to stick up for themselves if someone is bullying them, trying to get them to send inappropriate things, etc.
- Hang on to the relationship. “The best app is YOU.” We need to be present. We need to be what they go to for direction and help, not peers where they’re just trying to seek attention.
- Let them fail in a safe environment. Sometimes we take too much control, we need to let our kids make some of the decisions and learn from the bad ones while they’re under our own roofs.
Loved gathering with all these good women when it was over:
You get the idea though.
Those kids even wanted to stay well after the thing was over to meet Mr. Kartchner.
They crack me up.
That was a powerful night for me, because it helped Claire realize in such a positive way, that it wasn’t just me being crazy about all our discussions about the downside of social media (she had had some good eye-rolls going on about that lately!). I loved hearing her explain it all to Grace a little later, and loved our following discussions.
Ok, so that’s a LOT of info. thrown out there. See why I have waited to put this together for so long?
There’s so much to say.
So much to think about.
In closing, let’s go back to that teenager on that panel the first night. She told a story about how her mom took her phone away and how she found an old one in a drawer and was able to get around the controls on it. She explained that even when kids get their phones taken away, or apps removed, even with all the best parental controls in effect, kids are smart. If there’s a will there’s a way.
Which solidified my feelings that the most important defense against the “dark side” of social media is to talk. Talk, talk, talk. Discuss. Be open. And love. I know that seems too simple in many ways, but one thing that really stuck out to me that they said was that “kids want to be seen, heard and loved. With social media they can get all that in 20 seconds” (posting a sad photo on Instagram, tweeting out a plea for attention, sending something they think will make people love them on snapchat).
Our kids want/need attention any way they can get it, even if it’s negative attention. If they’re getting it from posting crazy/inappropriate/attention-seeking things on technology oh they’ll get it…from their peers as well as from getting attention from their parents (if they find out).
But if WE as parents can give them more of that…if we can “see” them more, “hear” them more, and show our love though communication and discussions and respect and letting them somehow keep their dignity, how positive that can be! We also need to help them build their own confidence from those four most essential things in that slide up there: they need movement, nature, real human connections, and physical touch (love that they had a mom and her daughter demonstrate how long an 8-second hug is…and how powerful that kind of connection is).
We stood around the counter in the kitchen, my girls and I that next morning (Dave was out of town) and talked. The room filled up with love as everyone gave their say, and we made a little pact. Different from our formal “contract,” this time it was just a simple pact. I promised to listen more. And to “be there” more. And they promised in turn to share more, and be more transparent. We gathered my mom in too (who was in town) and of course the girls wanted Bo to join in, but we made a promise there that morning in the form of a little pact handshake.
So it has to happen right?
But we are on the right track. And it feels good.